Vivianne Heijnen was appointed Minister for the Environment on 10 January 2022. Between 2009 and 2018 she was head of the Maastricht University Campus in Brussels. In 2018 she became a member of the Maastricht municipal executive with responsibility for the economy, housing, regional policy and social innovation. Heijnen was born on 8 October 1982 in Spaubeek. When asked about what motivates her as a minister, her response is as follows:
“I want the Netherlands to be a country that is liveable and accessible for everyone and where we reuse more. I’m committed to reducing travel time in a sustainable way, with a particular focus on border regions, cities and our neighbouring countries.”
Before joining the Ministry of Environment, she worked at Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture as the administrative coordinator for academic affairs, extension and applied research. Prior to that, she served as an environmental audit and monitoring officer at Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) for more than seven years and also as the alternate focal point for the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, and the Nagoya Protocol focal point, where she managed different projects aiming at regulating access to the genetic resources. In her capacity as an environmental audit and monitoring officer, she conducted environmental audit activities for different projects under operation and monitored their compliance with environmental regulations.
She is a member of the African Women in science and Engineering. A Rwandan national, Beatrice holds a Master’s in biodiversity conservation from the University of Rwanda.-->